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We ate chicken sandwiches, mine
no bun, at a table with an 80's
geometric design on top of two silver
metal legs with our legs
intertwined. I tried
to draw a comic on the wrapper,
but you kept making me laugh
by reenacting the conversation
we had with the lady at the register
who gave us the wrong change,
but using a baby's voice instead.
The boy mopping the floors wished
desperately that we would leave, but
you looked so cute with ketchup
on your lip and I really, really
didn't want you to drop me off.
There was an Adele song
on the radio that we've heard for the second
time, but you sound more like
a forgotten track to a John Hughes film--
a little heavy, a little messed up, a whammy
bar progression with blonde hair
who wore jeans and had a really cool car.
I'd like to kiss you like Molly Ringwald
does Judd Nelson in that movie
we talked the whole way through as it played
on Netflix. I'd like to wear you
like a bad haircut; something no one else
understands but I pull off effortlessly.
You feel effortless to me. So refill
my take-out cup with five different sodas,
make a scene as we leave the restaurant,
my hand laced up in yours, and let me drink
you in as I pretend we aren't driving
back home just yet.
If you were to come to me in the form
of a paper person linked by the knuckles
of other paper people, I would decorate
you with thick markers and call you
my soldier. I'd crown you in yellow smudges,
give you a sword out yarn and some cheap

You came to me in the form of a leftover
sports player with knees that needed therapy
and a size too big gym shorts. I fell for the sound
of you hitting your head off the microwave
when we were trying to kiss in my kitchen,
the way your hair felt in the spaces between
my fingers, how you always took the left
sock off before the right. I made you
into the paper figure next to mine, the half
who's creases matched up perfectly,
who we wanted the same exact things
as I. If you were to come to me now
in the form of water I'd boil you to make tea.
I'd put three sugars into you when you beg
me for none. I'd make you into some tragedy
that I'd hide underneath my bed in the way
of nasty journal entries and tired poems.
I'd love you like a miracle, like a prayer,
when really you are just a guy
who loves funny movies and can't
wake up for breakfast on time.
It was May, but we drove out to the shore
anyway in my big sweater and purple
cotton scarf wrapped around my neck,
holding it up to my chin as we waited
for the heat to start up in the car. My breath
looked like a cloud when I laughed, my lips
two inches from yours as I pulled
you by the strings of your black sweatshirt.
I grabbed two bags of sour patch kids, trying
to throw them sideways into your mouth
as you drove, a scattered trail of neon green
and yellow left on the foot mat under
the wheel, two our three
stuck between the crease in your seat.
I know it wasn't sunny, but I swear it tried
to peak through the overcast, or maybe the gray
sheen of it off the pavement is what made
your face shine. Your black hair looked so cool
on your pale skin, yelling at me to get
my ***** red sneakers off the dashboard. I tried
to write a little poem on your hand
with my fingers as it traced your bones
like a maze while you let it rest on the console.
We played that CD from that band I didn't know
you loved, and I promise I ******* up all the words,
but I just like to hear your try to sing over me.

I made you swear not to splash me
when we tried to let the ocean kiss
our toes, a salty welcome to the love affair
I had with the way you made me bite
my lip when I almost smiled too much
at the way your eyes moved when you talked
about one of your favorite things or about
how big the ocean was and how small
you were, even if you never said it just
like that. I could tell what you meant.
You did it anyway. The water was so cold
on my cheeks, my ribs clashing into one
another like a song my head hadn't had
the time to learn yet. You held them
in place while holding me. You kissed
the summer from my lips and asked
the sun to come out just for a moment
while I made tiny castles out of pink shells
and faded driftwood pieces leftover
from the winter. We ran out of iced tea
so we drank each other in, in layers,
on the sand with our jeans rolled
up to our ankles, letting the mask
of almost blue skies envelope us
in a Saturday afternoon spent
figuring out little things like old
memories or each other's favorite movies.
I must have been at least eight years old
when I started playing doctor in my garage,
using long gardening tools as skeletons
and drawing scattered veins with colored
pencils on sketches of the human brain.
I used to set up little name tags on the floorboards.
My parents had a plastic bin full of sticks
to help the plants grow straight that I used
as pointers, attacking each ventricle
of this made up heart with detail. I'd examine
my imaginary person and tell the entire
classroom just how to fix them up right.

Now, I'm twenty one and I must have tried
to fix you up at least ten different times.
I molded you with my hands like soil,
nurturing you with soft kisses and coffee
in the mornings. I'd even try to pull your nightmares
out from the roots, tie up the frayed ends,
and throw them into the compost. I used
my own spine like those pointers to help you
grow up straight, grow up different than all
the memories you'd blurt out like bubbles
when trying to breathe underwater. Memories
like falling asleep accidentally on the bus
just to be awoken by the driver back at the station,
the way that pity candy bar must have tasted
as you waited in a nasty plastic seat
for your mom who wasn't even worrying.
I tried to dissect you from the outside in.
Read your body like it was directions, but
I'm still just a kid in a too big overalls
playing doctor out in my garage.

You are bigger than the pretend desks
with the broken pencils inside. You are more
fragile than the yarn that I would loop
around my neck like a fake teacher's badge.
You have way too many pieces for me to count
on a skeleton, but if you let me I will try
to memorize them all, label them
with sidewalk chalk, put them together
again with Elmer's glue. If you let me,
I will let you slip on my nostalgia
like a patient's gown, let you relive
a tiny moment of the childhood that was stolen
even if it's just for a little while, even
if it's just pretend.
You dipped into me like a pool
you hadn't swam in all summer, a hole
in the back of your mind you almost forgot
was still there. It was as if you predicted
the big splash, the droplets like crystals
I could see through to your heart, reading
your feelings like a bestseller on a lounge chair,
basking in the sun on the side. You broke
through my surface with your hands, those hands
that strip me down to just my tan
and hold my ribs like a steering wheel, driving
our bodies together as I kiss the chlorine
from your lips. I'd wrap you up in a towel
just to trace the ***** of it from hip to hip,
use that momentum to tell you
how much I love the way your smile looks
when you think my eyes are closed
as we lay on top of the sheets with a fan
circulating in the limited space we leave between
my baby sundress and your khaki shorts,
our bare feet playing with each others toes.
I like the way your hands feel in my hair,
pulling it down the line drawn on my back
with your knuckles, landing in the dimples
of my back like a raft, floating
on the feeling suspended in this moment
where I bite your lip and you sigh into another kiss.
I like how it doesn't get dark until eight,
how you make little circles around my hipbones,
the sound of your laugh as it bounces off my own,
smiling into another push as you pull
my heart over yours into the shade to cool.
My peach yogurt tastes like your skin
in the morning when you used to stay
at my apartment, the leftover sweat
of a night spent loving each other,
and the sun slipping through my *****
blinds, while I'm eating my breakfast
at my desk checking emails, always peeking
over at you, bare-chested, snoring
through the sound of my fan and my music
turned down extra low.

It's five months later and my peach yogurt
tastes strangely like that iced tea
I had instead of liquor on the night my friends
threw a party in my living room, us
sneaking off to my bedroom just to kiss
ourselves through another evening
we'd rather spend in our underwear watching
a movie over smiling in group pictures
or dancing to cheap country music.

It's so much later and my yogurt
still tastes a little bitter, a little sour
on my tongue as I try to swallow
a breakup that's bigger than a jawbreaker.
It still kind of tastes like the bottom
of my sink as I put my dishes in it
just to wake you up, watch you
get dressed in a pair grey sweatpants,
sticky hair that I'd comb through.

It's far too late for me to think about
your hand in mine as we'd walk
as far as we could before we'd have to separate.
It's far too late and far too many people
have intercepted your memories and turned
them into something new to smile about,
but today I pulled the lid off the container
and licked the silver side clean
just to be reminded of how sweet
things like you used to taste.
I’m not sure you know what it’s like to love
someone you know is only going to demolish you.
What it’s like to give your body to someone
who doesn’t care what it would look like
turned inside out, the beauty of it
dripping from your bones, the words that haunt
you when the lights go out, the dreams you swore
to catch but just nearly missed.
I’m not sure you know what it’s like to watch
for the expiration date, wait for
that last good day before the question
is asked, the “where is this going?”
the self-promises not to reach out to him
days after you’ve gotten the wrong answer.
I’m not sure you know what it’s like to prepare
bomb shelters out of empty Ben & Jerry’s,
your roommate’s wine, your favorite leggings
and a blank document. I don’t think you know
what it’s like to play tag with each other’s tongues
in your bed while you just wait
for it to be empty again.

I love all the things you do,
all the stupid little hair flips and the smiling
between kisses, how you cradle my face like you just know
you’re going to tear my smile apart one day,
but you don’t get it.

You don’t know what it’s like to be the girl
everyone breaks. To have to watch days
on your calendar pass by while crossing your fingers
that today isn’t the day he grows tired of your jokes,
the day he finds the sparkle has faded, the day
the disinterest starts. You don’t know
what it’s like to hold someone you know isn’t ever
going to be yours.
We killed the lights and found
the way to each other’s lips like magnets
who had been denied their center of gravity
for awhile. You stripped me down,
measured my sweet spots out in sugar spoons,
and savored me like a treat you hadn’t had
since you were a kid, all the nostalgia
landing on your tongue as you molded me
with your hands. My ribs pushed back then pulled
again, like bread, underneath the covers.
You whispered my name like a song
you can’t let yourself forget the words to.
I followed the map of your neck with my kisses,
retracing my steps as we danced in my bed
to the familiar sound of a tiny fan
and the TV turned down low, the light
making shadows on your cheeks as the screen
changed, my eyes dodging them just to capture
a clearer image of the face I dreamed
and dreamed of again. You know my body

like a monologue, writing me all the way through,
smiling at your favorite parts, and every time
I fall into this routine I hope that maybe
this ending is different, maybe you’ve decided
to rewrite the last page. Maybe I won’t have to look back
at our sour memories, maybe this time
we will leave the bookmark in the same spot
and kiss each other through all those times we said
it had been too long.
I would have loved to have kissed you through
your polo shirt, to have felt your leather chest
on the palms of my hand, get my tongue caught
in the feeling of yours. I bet you would have held
my face, one of those guys, who cradles cheekbones
like pottery. I imagined us, feet tangling in sheets
as we wrestle each other in a small bed
pinning arms against the headboard, pulling ribs
closer to the other so they can connect
in their respective grooves. I would have loved
to have played catch with your smile, circle
your eyes with my own, nibble your shoulder
as we collide. I would have loved to,

but I'm still being haunted by ghosts in good underwear
who gave me more than just a body
for a month or two. By boys who swore
that the time wasn't right now, but it was coming
as fast as it could. I've been sliced open
by flea market promise rings with crooked diamonds,
and I would have loved to have used
you to stitch me back together. But you
are just a boy with your parents wallet,
sweetness baked into tight khaki's
and some really cool vans. You are not
the remedy I attempt to find in Bacardi bottles
or a blank document or even cups of tea.
You are too good for this part of me.
I'm sorry for teasing you with my jeans
and the bit of skin I let peak between
my belt and the rest of my blouse.
Imagine what that would have felt like
on your belly while the November breeze
crept through your open window?
I would have loved to.
I woke up this morning and my name flashed on T.V.
They said i blew up places , they said i killed masses .
Men , women & children I murdered them all.
Who am I ?
I am a muslim and i am taking this fall.
They used my name and spread the terror.
I am not them , it surely is an error.
We, muslims, are the holders of peace , we spread love.
Why am I being  represented by their false actions.
I am a person, with different notions.
World will now brand me a terrorist.
Don't judge me by their actions , I insist.
I am not them, they pilfered my name.
They inflicted libel , and my religion to defame .
I have been robbed , robbed of my name.
I am a muslim , human like you , all the same.
My name has been robbed , my identity stolen
I deprecate the terror and mourn for fallen.
There are millions like me and humanity lies in our depths.
But we are all victims of Identity Theft* ...............
We Muslims condemn  the Paris attack.
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